The user's guide to picknicking on the Mont
By far the most flexible and cost effective eating option is to have a picnic, especially if you're travelling with children. However, be warned that there are no takeaway options on the Mont - except for ice cream - so if you want to avail yourself of this option, then you'll need to plan ahead and bring the picnic with you.
The most convenient place to do your shopping is the supermarket a couple of hundred metres from the navette (shuttle bus) station on the mainland. It isn't the best or cheapest supermarket you'll encounter on your travels, but it is conveniently located, and offers the basics that you'll need to put together a basic picnic.
Better still, do your shopping on the way to the Mont: our picnic this day was snaffled from a tiny village en route whose name I have forgotten, where we visited the boulangerie, the patisserie and the charcuterie in swift succession. We ended up wolfing down a delicious picnic of crusty ham and tomato baguettes, bread smeared generously with Boursin and scrumptious crevettes (local shrimp) followed by glazed apple pastries and washed down with a bottle of sparkling cidre doux: now that's what lunch should look like!
The only downside of this plan is that the Mont is so crowded that there are limited picnic sites available. This spot is located just above the shops, where the road forks left towards the entrance to the monastery. Things are a lot less crowded inside the monastery itself, where the terrace overlooking the bay would be a splendid picnic spot, but I am not sure whether you are permitted to picnic here (or indeed, bring food in with you). Alternatively, have your picnic on the beach at the foot of the Mont: just make sure that you don't get caught by the galloping tide!
If the picnicking option appeals, then just remember that in this post 9/11 reality, you'll need to be organised enough to retrieve your Swiss Army knife from your hold luggage before you venture out. Over a decade on, I still resent the fact that this can no longer be a fixture in my hand luggage, and however organised I try to be with my packing, it still seems to take me days to find it in my case!
Say hello to your supper (if you're lucky)!
Favorite Dish: On of the most celebrated delicacies of France's north west coast is the 'pre sale' (literally 'pre salted') lamb .
These animals graze in the salt marshes along the coast, and this unique diet gives the meat a distinct flavour that is much prized by gourmets (and those of us lesser mortals who are just up for a delicious meal).
Be sure it eat it 'pink' as the French do so that you can best appreciate its tender succulence - lamb of this quality deserves a better fate than to be reduced to leathery greyness!
LA CLOCHE: Delicious Galettes!
La Cloche Creperie is situated along the main street (le Grande Rue) on Le Mont St Michel. We browsed many cafes along this route before settling (quitem comfortably) in this homey establishment. Nothing fancy, but the food is divine and you can watch the cooks prepare every dish in front of you if you sit in the main area. There is also a loft with extra seating and toilets. What I liked about this place is that it was simple, the food was tasty and great for the pocketbook! They also served ice cream and galettes (my new personal favorite) including ones with cheese, potatoes, and bacon. Mmmmmm! The staff, although not terribly jolly, were cordial enough for the fast-pace atmosphere they were conducting (and 100% better than others we browsed previously!).
Favorite Dish: The Sayonard Galette! Savory potato and cheese and bacon in a buckwheat pancake! Simple yet filling!
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La Cave Restaurant: simple and tasty local cuisine
La Cave restaurant was the little restaurant connected to our hotel in Pontorson, Hotel La Cave. We had dinner and breakfast here during our one night stay.
The restaurant is located at the front of the hotel, and has an attractive frontage with some bright flower boxes. Inside it has been fitted out to have a bit of a 'cave' feel, with bumpy walls and a low ceiling.
There was only a few tables of diners the night we were there (it was a Monday night), all patrons of the hotel, but it is open to the public as well. The friendly hotel owner was also our waiter and barman for the evening.
Favorite Dish: The food was tasty! Alex & I had the lamb cooked in herbs which had an amazing flavour. Chris had the ham cooked in cider which she also enjoyed.
Dessert for Chris was a selection of cheeses that she deemed excellent, I had the Crème Brulee and Alex had the Apple tart.
We also managed to polish off a nice bottle of wine and coffee afterwards.
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Terrace Poulard: Resturant with a superb view
Located at the foot of Mont Saint Michel Abbey, Poulard restaurant offers local food in a dining room with a view over the sea or the city medieval walls. Its crowded and I recommend you reserve a table.
Favorite Dish: Their omelet dishes are famous and good.
La Vieille Auberge: Very busy
The day we went it was very busy but I would expect all the restaurants in Mont St Michels will be the same. The result was not the best of service but everyone seemed rushed off there feet. The food was well cooked and tasted excellent but some missed out on vegetables. May be it was our fault for not understanding the menu though I suspect the waiter was not too bothered making sure we were properly served.
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Most sit down restaurents...: Over priced & not worth the $$
We walk up and down the main tourist drag in Mount St Michel. Even though there were many sit down restaurents the prices were very high.. even when compared to Paris. At first I though about just biting the bullet and getting a snack.
Later of after thoughts we took the english guided tour and stayed a little late and got his opinion on where to eat. He said do not eat in any sit down restaurent as the food is not only bad and overprices also he said that there were many cases of people getting food poisoned.
So we decided to grab some sandwiches that were also over priced and ate them.
Favorite Dish: Every one seemed to be advertising the Omlets that was supposedly claimed to be the best. I did not get to try it though..
A Bar & restaurent: Not much Choice near the train station
We only ate take away deli food at the Mond st Michel as the restaurents were all very overpriced. I also spoke to the English Guide at the Abby was gave us a low down on the restaurents and suggest that we skip any sit down meal as ther prices were just exhorbetant for very medicore food.
So we decided to grab a bite in town near the train station. Sadly the town looked like a ghost town with only 1 bar and restaurent that was open. As it was more of a bar than a restaurent the smoke was over bearing and could not sut down and eat a decent meal.
The food was below average and bland with no taste.. at least it was not as expensive at the Abby.
Favorite Dish: Nothing to write about...
Le Mere Poulard: Stay away from this place !
La Mere Poulard (In Le Mont Saint Michel)
What a terrible restaurant for a terribly high price and a horrible service; a true tourist trap. We had the remarkably stupid idea of having a light dinner on April 14, 2009. An omelet with about 2 tablespoons of lobster meat and 1 tablespoon of dry white rice for 48 EU !!!! 3 omelets with a bottle of wine for 174 EU= 233 $ US. You get a much better tasting omelet at McDonalds for pennies ! The service was even worse; the waiter spilled our bottle of wine and to show his remorse he came back with a glass (yes a single glass) of a miscellaneous red wine ! An overall terrible experience. Do yourselves a favor; stay out of it. They deserve to go out of business.
La Mere Pulard: Do not eat at Mere Pulard !
La Mere Poulard (In Le Mont Saint Michel)
What a terrible restaurant for an terribly high price and a horrible service; a true tourist trap. We had the remarkably stupid idea of having a light dinner on April 14, 2009. An omelet with about 2 tablespoons of lobster meat and 1 tablespoon of dry white rice for 48 EU !!!! 3 omelets with a bottle of wine for 174 EU= 233 $ US. You get a much better tasting omelet at McDonalds for pennies ! The service was even worse; the waiter spilled our bottle of wine and to show his remorse he came back with a glass (yes a single glass) of a miscellaneous red wine ! An overall terrible experience. Do yourselves a favor; stay out of it. They deserve to go out of business.
Favorite Dish: NONE
La Gourmandise: Creperie
Great staff, very welcoming and spoke great English to help us with our horrible French. The salads, crepes and gallettes were amazing! Best price for the money.
They also have rooms available for the night at a great price.
Favorite Dish: We enjoyed the warm goat cheese on a salad and the gallettes with onion, ham, and creme
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Don't Eat in Mont Saint Michel
Everything in Mont Saint Michel feels like a tourist trap. Except, of course for the beautiful abbey. Enjoy a half day at the mount and then head to another town to stay and for dinner. I suggest Saint Malo, we had a wonderful time there our first night and then headed to MSM for the 2nd and wished we had stayed in Saint Malo. ALL the Food in MSM is OVERPRICED AND BAD - right down to the coffee at the only outdoor cafe (4.50 Euro - for a cup of black coffee, which was bad). Please take the advice of a well traveled and very optomistic traveler - spend your money else where.
Restaurant Chez Mado: The worst restaurant ever
Never in my live have I ever visited. Maybe because we came somewhat before the start of the final of the football finale of the world cup in 2006, but still ...
Foot was mediocre in taste, service was rude and prices were outrageous (especially in contrast to what we got). Okay, price level is high on Le Mont Saint Michel, but at least you expect a smile while being served.
Of course anyone has to decide themselves, but if you ask my recommendations ... leave Le Mont and find a nice restaurant on the mainland.
The Best Omelette
To spend a day at the Mont and not eat at La Mere Poulard (and possibly stay at its Inn) is a terrible mistake. We have eaten there twice. Make a reservation as soon as you enter the gates (it is on the left-See our Travelog). The omelette is a plain one with lots of local eggs and butter beaten madly in a long-handled special pan and cooked over a wood fire. (The man on the left is heating one in the picture). The omelette is cited in the Larousse Gastronomique and the restaurant gets a rosette in the Michelin. We had the omelette for dessert and local seafood first (we were having salt-marsh grazed lamb in the evening-See our Hotel Tip).
Favorite Dish: The omelette flambee is large enough to be a dessert for more than two. (We found our 10 yr old grandson did not knowingly eat eggs and so we had too much after our main course).
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La Mere Poulard
This expensive hotel restaurant is famous for its omelettes. It barely serves any other kind of food. The thing that impressed me was that the chef after preparing my omelette cut it approx at 2/3s length and throw the rest 1/3 at the dustbin. I never understood why.
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